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Trust in retail has been eroded

Retail, and grocery retail in particular, was initially seen positively during the initial wave of COVID-19. Trust in these sectors was higher than any other –however as time has passed, this trust has eroded with a significant decline compared to May/June (-10 percent for grocery, -8 percent for non-grocery). Net trust is now negative for both.

Consumer and Retail, icon

Grocery vs. non-grocery:

As consumers adjusted their behaviors to the new reality of grocery shopping, spend has increased – reflecting the necessity faced by many consumers to consume more at home. However, wider concerns around personal safety mean customers are shopping less often. Customers will therefore be much more thoughtful about where they choose to shop – especially in markets such as Canada and France, where frequency is even further reduced (-45 percent and -29 percent respectively vs. pre-COVID-19).

With customers keeping a closer eye on their wallets and evaluating their non-essential spend closely, it is not surprising to see customers feeling they will spend far less in the future in non-grocery retail.

Trust in retail C&R - infographic

Local

Support for local suppliers has continued over the past months, with a strong desire to support the community as well as the perception that local goods are a higher quality. Predicted use of local suppliers has decreased slightly over the past months, but still remains high.

What does this mean in the new reality?

With digital being a key to meeting consumers new expectations, brands must ensure their online offerings are fast, easy to use, and integrate seamlessly with their omnichannel service.

Physical retailers may be able to increase the appetite to return to stores, provided they’re able to meet consumers expectations around personal safety and clearly communicate that they’re doing so.

Retailers can partner with local suppliers to ensure they align with consumers’ desire to support local communities. Organizations will need to align their supply chain to address this growing trend.